2015-12-29

Become a PyCon 2016 volunteer!

A community conference like PyCon is run by volunteers. There are many ways to get involved if you are interested in serving the community as part of the team who makes the conference possible. Here is what the volunteer calendar looks like for PyCon 2016:

The two major opportunities to volunteer before the conference are happening right now — we need volunteers for the two program committees who work to put together PyCon’s schedule!

  • The Talks Program Committee votes on which talk proposals get to become part of the conference schedule. They are currently working on the 300 talk proposals that have already been received, and will probably have several hundred more to evaluate by the time the Call For Proposals ends on Sunday January 3! If you have watched PyCon talks before and you are planning on attending PyCon 2016, then the program committee would love your help. Volunteers get to use the cool new voting app that the committee chair has written to streamline the process this year. To get involved, join the committee mailing list and the welcome message will tell you how to get started!
  • Meanwhile, the Tutorials Program Committee is hard at work evaluating the 100+ proposals that they received before their own Call for Proposals closed back on November 30. It is not too late to help out! If you have experience as a student or instructor and you plan on attending PyCon 2016, simply join the mailing list and ask how you can help.

Either program committee will require hours of your time over both January and February as each process slowly winds its way towards completion. Near the end of February, both efforts finally come to an end as the results are tallied and the conference chairs reveal the official talk and tutorial schedules for PyCon 2016!

Several months then pass before late May, when attendees start to assemble in Portland and the whole world of on-site volunteer opportunities opens up!

  • Swag bag stuffing is a come-as-you-are event on the evening before the conference starts, that transforms piles of brochures and boxes of branded accessories into neatly packed tote bags that are ready to be handed out to attendees.
  • Volunteers are needed during the conference at both the registration desk and at the nearby booth where tote bags are distributed to attendees.
  • Tutorials are supported by tutorial hosts who make sure that instructors and their students have working equipment and get everything they need to learn as effectively as possible.
  • Talks happen thanks to two very busy sets of volunteers. Session runners escort each speaker to the correct room and help make sure their laptop gets hooked up to the projector. Session chairs introduce each speaker at the beginning of their talk and then mediate the question-and-answer period that takes place at the end.
  • Special events like the Young Coders Workshop and the PyLadies Auction have their own dedicated teams of volunteers.

There will be opportunities to sign up for these on-site volunteer roles once the date of the conference is a bit closer — probably starting at the close of Winter. We will announce each sign-up opportunity both on this blog and also on the conference twitter account, so follow along for the chance to volunteer as one of the people who helps put PyCon on for the worldwide Python community!

2015-12-08

Your visit to Portland: Controlled substances

We know that many of you will want to see more of Portland than just a conference center and the inside of a hotel room. You will walk downtown and visit Powell’s. You will hike mountains and canyons. You will find a cozy bed & breakfast in the Oregon wine country. You will visit the Pacific coast and watch the gray whales swim past on their way back north to Alaska from their breeding grounds off the Baja peninsula.

And some of you are looking forward to the marijuana.

Following the 2014 legalization of recreational marijuana in Oregon, and of direct sales from dispensaries in 2015, Portland has become a popular destination for those who wish to partake. So let’s be specific about what this means for the conference:
  • You can’t consume at PyCon. 
  • Don’t show up at PyCon high, just like you wouldn’t show up drunk. 
Simple enough.

You might expect me, at this point, to quote the Code of Conduct. Or to talk about my own deep pride in the fact that we run a conference where parents feel safe bringing their children, and where employees feel safe inviting their bosses along.

But the issue, really, is out of our hands. The two rules that I listed above are not ours — they are Oregon’s! Check out the site that Oregon has built to explain the new laws:



Wow — I had no idea that a state government could produce such a beautiful web site! Welcome to Oregon, I guess. I am going to be using this site in the future as an example of how sharp web design and careful writing can communicate law to the public. Down in the lower-left-hand box, it says “Public use is illegal.” The Travel Portland site is specific about what that means:
You cannot smoke marijuana or consume marijuana edibles in a public place. This includes the Oregon Convention Center, restaurants, bars, parks, sidewalks. — (What visitors should know)
That part where they say “the Oregon Convention Center”? Yep. That’s PyCon.

It’s not that the convention center is anti-marijuana — they actually hosted the International Cannabis Business Conference in 2014. It’s that Oregon believes that partaking should be a personal experience, undertaken in private where everyone is present by consent and totally comfortable with the fact that you will be high.

We will be protecting your own standing before Oregon law, protecting the Python Software Foundation, and protecting our contract with the venue when we insist that you partake elsewhere than at the conference. Oregon is unusual, among US states, for offering laws within which you can imbibe legally. You’ll best celebrate those laws by consuming within the carefully crafted legal space they have opened up for you!

2015-11-30

The Tutorial deadline is here!

Tutorial proposals for PyCon 2016 are due today. The submission form will close once it has passed midnight in every time zone. If you have dreamed of giving an in-depth 3-hour class to your fellow PyCon attendees, it is time to write up a description and get it submitted!

What is a Tutorial?
https://us.pycon.org/2016/speaking/tutorials/

The main CFP.
https://us.pycon.org/2016/speaking/

The “Submit a new proposal” button is on your dashboard.
https://us.pycon.org/2016/dashboard/

2015-11-16

Tutorial proposals are due two weeks from today

There are only two weeks left before PyCon tutorial proposals are due! If you have ever dreamed about delivering a valuable 3-hour tutorial in front of dozens of fellow PyCon attendees, you can read more about the proposal process here:

https://us.pycon.org/2016/speaking/tutorials/

You might have been pondering a question as you finished reading my post last week. It celebrated PyCon 2016’s more aggressive schedule, which moves the proposal deadlines closer to the date of the conference. But you might have been puzzled that there are now two separate dates:

  • Tutorial proposals are due: 2015 November 30
  • Talk and poster proposals are due: 2016 January 3

The difference between the two dates is more than a month. Why aren’t talks and tutorial proposals simply due on the same day?

The answer is that the tutorial selection process is not as compressible as the process for talks. To understand the difference, first consider the task faced by the talk committee:

  • Talks are completely free for PyCon attendees. You can walk into a talk, decide that you might be more interested in the one next door, and (quietly!) slip out.
  • Most talks last 30 minutes — a few are given 45 minutes — so a reasonable amount of solid, well-organized material will usually be enough for a talk to make good use of its slot.
  • The primary problem that the talk committee faces is volume. Hundreds of talks are proposed for which there are only about 95 slots available. A large proportion of the proposals are very good ones, and would make great talks if admitted to the conference.

Each talk that the program committee selects is therefore going to be a relatively low-risk choice for the conference as a whole. They will be choosing from among the many proposals that look great, for a time slot that is only a small fraction of the whole conference, and that will not cost you anything if you pop into a talk for a few minutes but it winds up not meeting your expectations based on its description.

And so the talk program committee, equipped with new streamlined review software that replaces the grueling IRC meetings that the committee previously suffered, agreed to try tightening its schedule this year by nearly two months. I am going to do my best to support them!

The tutorials committee, by contrast, faces a quite different situation.

  • Each tutorial costs money for its attendees. Last year the cost was $150 per tutorial for those who signed up ahead of time, and $200 for those who sign up on-site. For many PyCon attendees this is a weighty expense, and therefore a severe blow if they pay for a tutorial but it winds up not meeting their needs.
  • A tutorial lasts a full 3 hours, split into two 1½-hour segments separated by a coffee break. Each tutorial’s material must use this full amount of time effectively, or attendees will feel cheated out of the full three hours of instruction that they were expecting.
  • Each tutorial proposal will cover roughly 6 times the material of a typical talk, which makes for slower reading even if the proposal summarizes their material more briefly.

The tutorial selection process therefore carries higher risk for the conference. Every tutorial needs to deliver something very close to what its description promises — there can’t be any over-the-top claims in the abstract that fail to be delivered in the tutorial itself.

This leads the tutorials committee, burdened as they are by this extra level of trust — PyCon attendees are going to pay for every tutorial they approve! — to adopt a slower and more careful process. One of the volunteer tutorial chairs this year, Ruben D. Orduz, explained it to me this way:
“The number of reviewers is not our bottleneck. The issue is that we don’t accept or deny tutorials outright unless they are truly unsalvageable or already perfect. Instead, we go through each of the proposals, carefully, and we reach out to the authors. The authors are given a week or two to fix things we think will make their proposal even better. Then we go back and re-review them.
“It’s a very time-consuming process, but it helps in selecting the best lineup while making sure every tutorial that had potential was given a fair chance. Compressing the timeline would mean only selecting from the top well-known proposers and forgetting the rest. That would be against our philosophy of giving chances to new instructors and increasing diversity.”
Given these differences in risk and process, I thanked the tutorials committee for being willing to shorten their process from 4 months to 3 months this year, and agreed that they should not try to compress their schedule any further. And so the result is that, for the first time, PyCon talk and tutorial proposals are due on different dates, each as close to the conference as the volunteers on each committee can safely manage.

I think that the difference in dates make sense overall. The January deadline for talks keeps us open for as long as possible to new technology and recent developments in the Python community. The earlier deadline for tutorials reminds us that the best tutorials are likely to be about well-established topics — the subjects that will make safe and productive tutorial topics for PyCon 2016, after all, will probably not depend on software or news that only emerges in December!

2015-11-12

Why proposals are due so many months before PyCon

“Why does PyCon make us submit proposals six whole months before the conference? They expect us to start thinking of topics for PyCon 2016 while it is still 2015!”

To be honest, I used to ask the same question about PyCon myself. Now that I am the conference chair, I have the privilege of working directly with the volunteers who make the conference possible! They have been generous with their time in bringing me up to speed on how each of their committees operate, helping me see the big picture of how the conference schedule is negotiated each year.

And better yet, they have proved willing to accept a challenge: we have made the schedule more aggressive this year, to close some of the gap between the close of the Call for Proposals and the start of the conference itself! I am excited about the results of their hard work:

  • Tutorial proposals are due on 2015 November 30, which is 25 days closer to the conference than the same deadline last year.
  • Talk proposals are due on 2016 January 3, which is 59 days closer to the conference than last year — an improvement of nearly two months!

It would have been less risky to simply repeat the PyCon 2015 schedule over again, so I thank the volunteer chairs for their boldness here. In an upcoming post I will share more details about their process, and about how you can volunteer on their committees to help them achieve this year’s more ambitious schedule!

But, for now, let me introduce the whole subject by answering the question I posed — why does the CFP close so many months before the conference?

Imagine a speaker from another country who wants to give a talk at PyCon. Their salary is low by United States standards. They might have a hard time obtaining a visa. If the Python Software Foundation wants its flagship international conference to be able to welcome speakers from all over the world, what constraints does that place upon the schedule?

Unless we are going to ask speakers to undertake personal financial risk for the mere chance of getting to attend and speak, PyCon will operate under three constraints:

  1. International speakers are one of the constituencies we try to serve through our Financial Aid program, so after we announce PyCon’s schedule of accepted talks, tutorials, and posters, the speaker will need time to turn around and apply for Financial Aid.
  2. We will then need time to complete our Financial Aid process and make award decisions before we expect an applicant to spend money applying for a visa.
  3. It can take more than a month for the government to rule on a visa. Only once a speaker has received a visa — instead of a rejection — can they risk purchasing an airline ticket and making the other financial commitments involved in arranging travel.

If you imagine that each of these three steps takes roughly a month, then you understand why talk and poster proposals are due on 3 January 2015. January and February belong to the program committee process that chooses talks and posters. March is when the financial aid committee receives applications and decides on awards. In April the government will process and (hopefully) accept the speaker’s visa application. If all goes well, that will leave an international speaker with only a bit more than a month to purchase an airplane ticket and travel to the conference!

So the long lead time between the CFP and the conference arises from the PSF’s goal of making PyCon a conference not just for North America, but for the entire world. We make it the one event each year where the Python community sets the stretch goal of not just welcoming people from a single region or continent, but of welcoming everyone. That means we have to close our CFP earlier than any other Python conference — but we believe it’s worth it.

2015-10-28

Registration and Financial Aid are now open!

PyCon’s Registration and Financial Aid forms are now open! Their soft launch a few days ago revealed a form formatting problem on some Firefox versions, but the issue is now resolved and registration should work for everyone. Key facts:

  • PyCon has sold out 4 times in a row.
  • We expect PyCon 2016 in Portland to sell out as well!
  • The first 800 tickets sell with an Early Bird discount, and go fast.
  • If you need financial support to be able to attend PyCon, apply for financial aid.
Here are the links:

Registration Information
Registration Form
Financial Aid (Deadline: 2016 March 1)

PyCon offers tremendous value for both individuals and businesses. PyCon’s three main conference days offer keynote speeches, nearly a hundred talks, Open Space rooms for meetings and workshops, and an Expo Hall where you can meet dozens of sponsor companies and open source non-profits. More than 3,000 fans and contributors to Python are expected to attend the conference!

Both breakfast and lunch are included in the price of registration, along with refreshment and coffee breaks.

The two days before the main conference are our Tutorial Days. Each day, both a morning and an afternoon slate of 3-hour tutorials is offered. Each tutorial costs only $150 to attend. (The schedule should be announced by the end of February, and tutorial registration will open up.)

Hotels

Available: right now, until rooms sell out!

PyCon 2016 in Portland is being held at the Oregon Convention Center, which is within walking distance of several hotels. And it is only a short ride away from several more, thanks to Portland’s MAX Light Rail.

We have negotiated special rates for PyCon attendees — but you must reserve your hotel through the PyCon web site to receive them! To see your options, scroll down to the “Hotels” section of our Venue page. After you have registered for PyCon, the registration page will offer you the ability to book a hotel room.

Financial Aid

Application: now open!
Deadline: 2016 March 1

PyCon is among the best values for a software conference of its size. Yet the cost of registration plus transportation plus lodging is still beyond the means of some attendees. The Python Software Foundation and PyLadies, thanks to our generous sponsors, are able to offer financial aid to help make PyCon possible for more members of the Python community. The application is already available, so go read about financial aid on our web site if you want to consider applying for assistance!

Call for Proposals

Application: now open!
Tutorial deadline: 30 November 2015
Talk and poster deadline: 3 January 2016

Our Call for Proposals is now open. As a community-driven conference, PyCon relies on you to step forward with the talk, tutorial, and poster proposals that will make the conference such a vibrant place to learn.

We need a wide array of talks so that everyone — beginner and expert, professional and hobbyist — can find something of interest in our schedule. We encourage both experienced speakers and those who are just getting started to submit a proposal if you have something you would like to share!

Note that the tutorial deadline is about one month earlier than the talk and poster deadline! Tutorial attendees make a bigger commitment — they pay for each tutorial separately, and spend 3 hours in each one — and so we give the tutorial committee extra time to vet their proposals and put together the best schedule possible.

Sponsoring PyCon

Application: now open!

The conference would not be possible without the help of our generous sponsors.

PyCon provides its sponsors with a unique chance to reach out to the Python community. In return, sponsors provide essential support without which our low prices and financial aid would not be possible. Read our sponsorship prospectus to learn more about how your company or non-profit can become a partner. Email us at pycon-sponsors@python.org if you have any questions.

We are excited about all of the attendees, speakers, and sponsors that are coming together to make Portland 2016 happen!

2015-09-28

We have issued our Call For Proposals

Have you ever dreamed of speaking in front of a conference crowd?

Or of teaching a several-hour PyCon tutorial, that gives you the opportunity to lead an audience deep into the details of a technology so that they emerge with new and useful skills?

Or have you wanted the chance to present a poster, regaling passers-by with the details of your project while being able to answer their questions one-on-one instead of under time pressure in front of a big group?

Then know that the PyCon 2016 conference has issued its official Call For Proposals!

PyCon 2016 — Call For Proposals

Everyone, from veteran Python community members to newcomers who might never have attended a conference, is welcome to propose their idea for a talk, a tutorial, or a poster that will help share ideas, technologies, and experiences with the conference and the wider community.

Note that the tutorial deadline this year is earlier than the talk and poster deadline. Because tutorials are 4 to 6 times longer than a talk and are a more weighty investment for the conference, the instructor, and for the students — who pay individually to attend a tutorial — our tutorial deadline this year will end about a month before the talk deadline. This will permit the tutorial committee the time that they need to interact with their field of proposals, while giving normal talk and poster presenters an extra month in which to put together proposals that are as cutting-edge as possible in those cases where they involve current technology.

Links from the Call For Proposal page lead to the details of proposing talks, tutorials, and posters. Good luck as you conceive, write up, and propose your ideas, and please ask us any questions that you find we have left unanswered!

2015-09-27

PyConZA 2015: 1 & 2 October, Johannesburg

South Africa’s fourth PyCon kicks off in just three days' time in Johannesburg!

The conference takes place at the Witwatersrand University on the 1 & 2 October, with sprints at JoziHub on the 3 & 4 October.

Schedule highlights include:

See za.pycon.org for all the details and the full schedule.

2015-09-23

Thank you to our Launch-Day sponsors

The new PyCon 2016 website is now live! The conference volunteers have worked hard to include all of the essential details about the schedule, venue, and hotels ahead of the Call for Proposals next week and the opening of Registration in mid-October.
Our launch-day sponsors this year — those organizations that have already pledged support toward keeping PyCon affordable for as wide a range of attendees as possible — are from a broad array of fields that illustrate just how widely Python is used in today’s world:
For more details, see the detailed sponsor descriptions on our Sponsors Page. We look forward to seeing every one of these sponsors at the conference.
In the meantime, the PyCon volunteer staff will be busy rolling out new information about the conference every week here on the site as well as on our social media accounts — so stay tuned!
Important Dates:
2015
  • September 28 — Call For Proposals for talks, tutorials, posters, and the Education Summit
  • October 14 — Registration opens
  • October 17 — Financial aid application opens
  • November 30 — Tutorial proposals due
2016
  • January 3 — Talk, poster, and Education Summit proposals due
  • January 18 — Financial aid applications close
  • January 31–February 10 — Financial aid grants awarded
  • February 22 — Talks, tutorials, posters, and Education Summit schedule announced
  • May 28–29 — Tutorial Days
  • May 30–June 1 — Main conference plus Expo Hall, Job Fair, and posters
  • June 2–5 — Sprints

2015-09-21

Sign up today or Tuesday to be a Launch Day sponsor

The long months of summer are finally at an end — for those of us in northern climes — and this Wednesday, on the first day of Autumn, the new PyCon website for Portland 2016 will launch!

The conference is a bit more than eight months away, and it is time for us organizers to start sharing the details that will help community members plan their travel schedules, time, and involvement in the largest annual gathering dedicated to the Python programming language.

In case your organization is interested in sponsoring PyCon and wants to already be listed as a sponsor on Launch Day when the website goes live, we have gone ahead and opened up the prospectus and application a few days before the rest of the site!

https://us.pycon.org/2016/sponsors/prospectus/
https://us.pycon.org/2016/sponsors/apply/

Interested sponsors can also contact us at pycon-sponsors@python.org with any specific questions. And please do not panic if your company’s budget process or organization’s schedule does not allow you to already be planning for the 2016 conference season! Launch Day is not a deadline — our “Apply to be a Sponsor” page will be open through the end of the year and well into 2016. But for sponsors who are able to go ahead, decide, and step forward as a supporter, being listed on the website from day one allows for maximum exposure to our community.

Thank you to the sponsors who are already signed up. We look forward to your involvement in PyCon 2016!

2015-06-01

PyCon JP 2015 Registration Open


We are pleased to announce availability of PyCon JP 2015 tickets. PyCon JP 2015 is the biggest Python event in Japan, consisting of keynotes, talks, dev sprints and tutorials (paid separately). As with every year, we expect the event to be very international. There will be sessions in both Japanese and English.

You can purchase the ticket for the main conference (10-11th October) from the below website.
Please note that the after party is included in the price. You're all encouraged to connect and network with fellow pythonistas!

We have four types of ticket.
  • Business: 15,000 JPY(Early Bird 12,000 JPY)
  • Personal: 10,000 JPY(Early Bird 8,000 JPY)
  • Student with party: 5,000 JPY
  • Student without party: 2,000 JPY
We also have Patron Sponsor tickets (20,000yen). Proceedings from Patron tickets will be used to provide discounted student tickets. It is your chance to show your support for the community!

2015-05-27

PyCon JP 2015 Call for Proposals



The annual PyCon JP 2015 will be held at Plaza Heisei in Tokyo. The schedule is as below.

  • Tutorial: 2015 October 9(Fri)
  • Conference: 2015 October 10(Sat)-11(Sun)
  • Development Sprints: 2015 October 12(Mon / Public Holiday in Japan)

We are currently seeking proposals for talks for this event. Visit the PyCon JP 2015 Call for Proposals page for more information. Submission deadline is 15th July.

As with every year, we are expecting many international participants to the event, so English talk proposals are absolutely essential. We plan to make at least one out of three talk tracks fully English. This is your chance to introduce the topic you love to Pythonistas in Japan!

For more information visit our official website. Any questions and comments are welcome, email to us (2015 at pycon dot jp).

2015-05-05

Update on the PSF Elections - new election starting

Due to some procedural problems with the current election for the Board of the Python Software Foundation, the Foundation has taken some steps to make sure that the elections are freely open for nominations and that there are no conflicts of interest. Specifically, today the board adopted the following resolutions:

RESOLVED, due to procedural deficiencies, the Board Election ballots issued on May 1st (AOE)/May 2nd (UTC) be deemed null and void.

RESOLVED, that David Mertz be removed as election administrator, and that Ian Cordasco be appointed as election administrator.


David has been the election adminstrator for quite a while, and designed the "e-vote" system that we use along with Massimo DePierro. He has put in a lot of time and effort, and we thank him for it. David in particular volunteered for a complex voting administration task that needed to be handled as the PSF expanded internationally beyond a primarily US-based membership that could previously realistically vote (in person, or by proxy) at physical meetings held annually at PyCon
US.

Without David's efforts as Election Administrator over that time, it would not have been feasible to expand the membership as we have, including the conversion to an open membership model in the 2014 update to the PSF bylaws.

For anyone who has received a ballot already, or has received a ballot reminder, please ignore it. We will be canceling the election as quickly as possible.

We also wanted to make sure that the procedure for upcoming board elections was clear, particularly with regard to the timelines for nominations and voting eligibility. To address that, we also adopted the following resolution concerning the timing of future votes for the board. For those who aren't familiar with the term "AOE", it means "Anywhere on Earth." As long as it is not before the end of the day in your local timezone, you are ok.

RESOLVED, that the Python Software Foundation adopt the follow procedure for Board elections:
    - Day 1: There is announcement of an upcoming board election via public announcement and email to existing voting members.
    - Day 10 (AOE): Nominations and voting eligibility closes for the upcoming board election. The list of voting members is updated.
    - Day 14-15: Ballots are sent out to voting members.
    - Day 25 (AOE): Election closes.


We also are starting a new election using this procedure, so the timeline for the election is as follows:

    - May 5: Announcement of a new election via this blogpost and an email to the voting members.
    - May 15 (AOE): Nominations and voting eligibility closes for the upcoming board election. The list of voting members is updated.
    - May 19-20: Ballots are sent out to voting members.
    - May 30 (AOE): Election closes.


This means that in an effort to be inclusive, the nominations will again be open for anyone until May 15 AOE. If you missed the opportunity to nominate for the 2015 Python Software Foundation Board, you will have that chance.

Thanks,

Van Lindberg
PSF Chair

2015-04-10

PyCon is here!

Before we get under way, https://us.pycon.org/2015/onsite/ is your go-to for all things once you're at PyCon. Here are some important details and things coming up.

WiFi: SSID is "PyCon 2015" and upon joining the network you'll be presented with a popup (you may need to try to visit a site first). 

Download the Guidebook app to keep track of it all. Our schedules and events are all loaded in there, and you can build your own personal schedule, complete with notifications to keep you up to date on what talks are going on when. Head to https://guidebook.com/getit/ and install it for your device!

Lunch Menus

We put together the menus for each of the lunches and breaks, and where possible, have listed ingredients. If you've made a specific meal request on your registration, be sure to ask our friendly lunch staff for the type of meal that suits you.

Registration

Pick up your badge starting at 7 AM the next few days! The closing hours differ by day so check out the schedule.

Open Spaces

The Open Space signup boards are placed near registration at the base of the escalators, so you'll be able to plan all of the on-site meetings and discussions and talks you'd like.

5K Charity Fun Run

Join us Saturday morning for the fourth annual 5K Charity Fun Run, with the proceeds benefiting Autism Speaks Canada. Registration is handled here with at least a $20 donation.

PyLadies Auction

Saturday night is the always fun PyLadies Auction. Last year we raised over $10,000 USD for PyLadies, and we've got some great items that were donated by our sponsors and others. Check out the list to get a feel for what's on the auction block.

Job Fair

Sunday is our job fair, with participation from a ton of our sponsors. What better place to see who's hiring than the biggest Python conference around?

Code of Conduct

While you're at PyCon, please be mindful of our code of conduct, listed above and in the print guides inside each attendee bag. Contact information is available on the site, and the attendee incident guidelines are available here.

2015-04-07

Come to the Opening Reception on Thursday!

Come celebrate with us as we kickoff the weekend with snacks and drinks at our Opening Reception in the expo hall, Thursday from 6-9 PM. Whether you spent the day in tutorials or you just got in town before the talks begin, join your fellow attendees in mingling around, chatting about what you're up to, seeing what our sponsors have on tap for the night, and getting ready for another great weekend of PyCon.

Each attendee will get a complimentary drink ticket, and we'll have various light snacks available as well. There's no registration needed, just show up and enjoy yourself!

2015-04-03

PyCon schedule on Guidebook!

There's a lot going on at PyCon this year. If you've paid for tutorials, you have those to keep track of. Then there's the free sponsor tutorials. Then there's 95 talks going on in 5 parallel tracks. Then there's open spaces. Then there's evening stuff. Lots of stuff!

When you pick up your badge at registration we'll have paper schedules available, but as you can imagine with paper, it's not live and doesn't tell you when things update or give you reminders. That's where Guidebook comes in.

We have once again partnered with them to provide an excellent web and mobile schedule for you to keep track of everything at https://guidebook.com/guide/31995/. They also have apps for Windows, Android, and iOS available in your platform's app store.

Once you've opened the Guidebook app, search for PyCon 2015 and it'll be right at the top. Choose to get that guide and you'll be in sync.

Once you have the book loaded, you can view the master schedule all at once, or breakout schedules on topics such as "talks" for the Friday through Sunday presentation, "other events" for things like the PyCon Dinners, the PyLadies Auction, and more. 

If you see something you don't want to miss, click the + button to the right and set a reminder and it'll be added to your personal calendar. While I used to highlight all of the sessions I wanted to attend, the Guidebook app makes it a million times easier, especially with the reminders. If you need a reminder to wake up for Saturday's 5K Charity Fun Run, Guidebook can do that.

Check it out and see you in a few days!

2015-03-25

For Microsoft, Python support extends far beyond Windows installers

You might have known that Python's 1.0 release came at the start of 1994, but did you know Microsoft shipped its Merchant Server 1.0 product built on Python only a few years later in 1996? Microsoft, this year's Keystone sponsor, has long been a user and supporter of Python, with a history of use within build and test infrastructure and individual users all around the company. There are even a few lawyers writing Python code.

In 2006 they introduced the world to IronPython, a .NET runtime for Python, and later the excellent Python Tools for Visual Studio plug-in in 2011. They continue to release Python code, as it's "a must-have language for any team that releases developer kits or libraries, especially for services on Azure that can be used from any operating system," according to Steve Dower, a developer on Microsoft's Python Tools team.

"Python has very strong cross-platform support, which is absolutely critical these days," says Steve. "It’s very attractive for our users to literally be able to 'write once-run anywhere.'

"The breadth of the community is also very attractive, especially the support for scientific use," he continued. Microsoft has been a significant donor to the Jupyter project (formerly IPython) as well as a platinum sponsor of the NumFOCUS Foundation.

Along with supporting those projects, they have also been providing MSDN subscriptions to the core Python team to assist with development and testing on Windows. Beyond supporting the existing developers, they've jumped in the ring themselves as one of the few companies to employ developers working on CPython itself. "Python has done an amazing job of working well on Windows, and we hope that by taking an active involvement we can push things along further," offers Steve, whose work includes being a core developer on the CPython project.


Steve's CPython work has focused around Windows issues, including an improved installer for 3.5. Additionally, the team was able to come up with a special package for Python users: Microsoft Visual C++ Compiler for Python 2.7. Due to Python 2.7 being built on the Visual C++ 2008 runtime, which is no longer supported, they created this package to provide the necessary tools and headers to continue building extension modules for Python 2.7, which will live through at least 2020 as was announced at last year's language summit.


Along with efforts on Python itself, they're hard at work on improving tooling for the upcoming Visual Studio 2015 and Python 3.5 releases. "Practically everything we do will integrate with Visual Studio in some way," says Steve of Python Tools for Visual Studio. "PTVS has been free and open-source from day one, and combined with Visual Studio Community Edition makes for a powerful, free multi-lingual IDE."

As for what's next with PTVS, Steve says, "we try and be responsive to the needs of our users, and we are an open-source project that accepts contributions, so there’s always a chance that the next amazing feature won’t even come from our team. We've also recently joined forces with the Azure Machine Learning team and are looking forward to adding more data science tooling as well.

"We want new and experienced developers alike to have the best tools, the best libraries, the best debugging and the best services without having to give up Linux support, Visual Studio, CPython, git, or whatever tools they’ve already integrated into their workflow."

When it comes to PyCon, they see it as "a learning opportunity for Microsoft, as well as a chance for us to show off some of the work we’ve been doing." "For those of us at Microsoft who always knew how great the Python community is, it’s also been great to bring our colleagues and show them.

"We love that PyCon is about building and diversifying the community, and not about sales, marketing and business deals," says Steve. If you head to their booth in the expo hall, you'll find out first hand that they're there to talk about code and building great things. They're looking forward to showing off some great new demos and have exciting new things to talk about.

The PyCon organizers thank Microsoft for another year of sponsorship and look forward to another great conference!

2015-03-18

Fourth annual 5K Fun Run benefitting Autism Speaks

We're really happy to be holding our fourth annual 5K Charity Fun Run on Saturday April 11 at 7 AM, before day two of PyCon kicks off. The event was introduced in Santa Clara and has been fun for everyone involved and each year has raised money for a bunch of great causes. This year's proceeds benefit Autism Speaks Canada!

Everyone is invited to come out and join us on the course which snakes along the Port of Montreál just a short walk from the conference center and hotels. Whether you're a runner, walker, or someone who just wants to come out and support Autism Speaks, registration is available at Eventbrite for $20.


For more information about Autism Speaks Canada, see http://www.autismspeaks.ca/.
At Autism Speaks Canada, our mission is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders.

We are dedicated to funding global research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and to bring hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder. We are committed to raising the funds necessary to support these goals.

2015-03-17

More Sponsor Workshops announced!

As we previously wrote, signup for our free Sponsor Workshops is open and the schedule has now been completed! While registration isn't required, it helps us plan for room sizes and for drinks and snacks, so head to Eventbrite and choose as many as you want!

Wednesday morning gets under way at 9 AM with a team from Elastic taking attendees through the popular Elasticsearch distributed search engine. Honza Král will introduce the various Python clients for working with Elasticsearch, and will be joined by Logstash developer Pier-Hughes and Peter from their solutions engineering team. The full description is available at https://us.pycon.org/2015/schedule/presentation/475/.

The 3:30 PM Wednesday slot features Mark Lavin, Caleb Smith, and David Ray of Caktus Group taking the stage to share their knowledge of RapidSMS and Django. We previously wrote about how they've used SMS while building a voter registration system in Libya, so come see first hand how they do it. The talk is beginner friendly so bring a laptop to check out the code and follow along.

The last slot on Thursday, running from 3:30 to 5:00, will be a trio of talks from Google. Brian Dorsey will be on hand to show how Kubernetes can scale up your usage of Docker, complete with a live demo (he gives great demos btw). The second talk will be on CoLaboratory by Jeff Snyder, covering the project, its integration with Google Drive, and further integrations with IPython and now the Jupyter project. Finally, Alex Perry will cover the use of Python decorators within monitoring pipelines to deliver positive value with minimal impact.

Be sure to sign up today!

2015-03-10

Get ready for Lightning Talks and Open Spaces!

While the majority of the greater PyCon schedule consists of events that we've had calls for proposals for, there are two other big pieces to the weekend that are organized on-site in Montréal: Lightning Talks and Open Spaces.

Lightning Talks are five minute talks that take place at the beginning and/or end of the day in 30 or 60 minute blocks. We've had some amazing talks packed into such a small slot, either by people who planned them ahead, or even some that were conceived at lunch that day. The Django project was first introduced to the public in a lightning talk at PyCon 2004. Docker was first demoed in a lightning talk at PyCon 2013. It's definitely an event you don't want to miss, and there are five sessions worth of them: one Friday, and two each Saturday and Sunday.

If you're interested in giving a Lightning Talk, be on the lookout for the signup boards near the registration desks that you'll need to get your name onto. Unlike last year, we're not doing pre-selection for these talks, so while we encourage people to prepare ahead of time (but also to spontaneously do them), selection will be determined based on the boards.

Open Spaces are a way to organize a gathering of people to talk about a particular topic. With 2500 attendees, PyCon is a great venue to meet with others interested in the same topics as you and discuss problems, come up with solutions, learn new things, and make cool stuff. All it takes is two people to have a discussion, put it up on the board, grab a room, and get started. Before you know it, others with a shared interest will have joined and you're all working together to make an impact on the topic or each other. It's pretty great.

As with Lightning Talks, Open Spaces are organized in the same manner: the signup boards near the registration desks.

PyCon 2015 - Explore Montreal

Explore Montréal

Sponsored by Caktus Group

PyCon 2015 is in the center of an exciting city full of great food, culture, and history. It would be a shame to not check it out while you're in town!
In addition to the conference's five tracks of talks, there will be a sixth track – an opportunity for you to explore Montréal. These events are open to all PyCon attendees and those traveling with them to PyCon. 

WhatWhen
Free guided tour of Old MontréalFriday April 10h, 10:30am - 1pm
Free guided tour of Plateau Mont-RoyalSaturday April 11th, 10:30am - 1pm
Your own discovery of Montreal using DucklingSunday April 12th, 10:30am - 1pm

Guided Tour of Old Montréal (Friday)

The conference venue is adjacent to Old Montréal, the historical part of the city. This tour will take you through narrow cobblestone streets lined with buildings that date as far back as the 1600s. We'll pass by many souvenir shops, galleries, and restaurants, as well as take in some of Montreal's landmarks. Since we're not too far from the conference centre, grabbing lunch at one of the restaurants along Rue St-Paul before heading back is a tasty possibility! You'll be responsible for paying for your own lunch.

Eventbrite - PyCon 2015: Explore Montréal

Guided Tour of Plateau Mont-Royal (Saturday)

One of the most well known neighbourhoods of Montreal, the Plateau Mont-Royal is characterized by brightly coloured houses, cafés, book shops, and a laissez-faire attitude. It's the location of some famous attractions on Saint Laurent Boulevard, including Schwartz's Deli (famous for its Montreal smoked meat), and a weekend street fair during the summer that sees extremely crowded streets. In 1997, Utne Reader rated it one of the 15 "hippest" neighbourhoods in North America. Note: This tour will required 2 metro tickets ($6.00). If you can, please buy them before the tour to avoid line ups.
Eventbrite - PyCon 2015: Explore Montréal

Duckling Outings

Within a 10 minute walk, a world of choice awaits you. To find out where others are going and to join them, use Duckling, brought to you by Caktus Group.
Caktus made Duckling because of how much we love the impromptu outings at PyCon. We wanted to build an app that helps us focus on fun, not logistics. Duckling makes it easy for you to find and join outings during PyCon or to create your own.

Happy Exploring!

2015-03-05

Signup for Sponsor Tutorials!

Our Sponsor Tutorial schedule has come together and we've opened registration on Eventbrite! Running Wednesday and Thursday April 8-9, these free tutorials are offered by several of our generous sponsors. While registration for these tutorials is not required, it helps us plan for food and room size.

Check out the schedule at https://us.pycon.org/2015/schedule/sponsor-tutorials/. Each tutorial is 1.5 hours, and free!

We kick off Wednesday with David Gouldin of Heroku walking through building and deploying applications on Heroku. After lunch, Eric Feng of Dropbox introduces the Dropbox API and will take attendees through authentication to reading and writing files. There are two other open slots on the Wednesday schedule, and we'll update this post once those are known.

Thursday's schedule begins with Steve Downer and Chris Wilcox showing off how to build a Django app on the Microsoft Azure cloud. The folks at Code Climate are going to be talking about a number of important development topics, including how to be provide quality code review and build an effective pull request based workflow. Kyle Kelly of Rackspace will be discussing cloudpipe and showing attendees how to contribute to it. Wrapping up the Thursday schedule is Google, who will be hosting a trio of yet-to-be-announced talks during their time slot.


If you're interested in our instructor-led tutorials, spaces are still open in many of them, but keep in mind that those are likely sell out. The tutorial schedule is available here, and you can register for $150 per tutorial here.

2015-03-04

PyCon 2015: Call for On-Site Volunteers

Got a couple of hours to give? PyCon is organized and run by volunteers from the Python community. This year we're looking for over 300 on-site volunteer hours to help make sure everything runs smoothly. Everyone who is attending PyCon is welcome to volunteer, but you must be registered to volunteer. All help is very much appreciated. Thank you!
Pro Tip: Sign-up to be a Session Chair or Session Runner – it's a great opportunity to meet the speakers!


Session Staff

Volunteer: Please read and understand the duties before you sign up to be a session chair/runner. Follow the links below for complete descriptions.
  • Session Chairs and Session Runners are present for an entire session (usually 2 to 3 talks in a row).
  • Session Chair introduces the speaker, manages the time, and facilitates the question and answer period. "Please be seated. Our next speaker is..."
  • Session Runner helps the speaker get from the Speakers Lounge to the appropriate stage. They help in any way needed to make the session run smoothly.
  • Only sign up for one role per session.

Registration Desk

Volunteer: Sign-up for an hour slot at the registration desk: registration desk sign-up
  • Someone needs to say "Welcome! What is your name?", print a name tag, hand them their stuff.
  • Please consider signing up for an hour on the registration desk. It's a great way to meet people and answer basic questions. If this is your first PyCon, it's a good way to get into volunteering!

Swag Bag Handout

Volunteer: Sign-up for an hour slot at the swag/t-shirt desk: swag handout sign-up
  • Help distributing swag bags & t-shirts; especially during that busy first morning of the conference.

Tutorial Support

Volunteer: Sign-up for an hour slot helping with a tutorial: tutorial support / hosts sign-up
  • We're looking for one "Tutorial Host" for each tutorial to help welcome participants as they arrive: be sure they're in the right tutorial, give them any printed handouts, ask them if they need help setting up their laptop, etc.
  • This need is for approximately 20 minutes before tutorials start until about 20 minutes after they start (about 40 minutes). See guidelines at: tutorial hosts.

Miscellaneous Help

Volunteer: Sign-up for miscellaneous tasks: odd jobs sign-up
  • We need 7 Volunteers during each day of the main conference to Host Lunch.
  • We need 5 volunteers to help setup the Young Coders lab on Friday evening.
  • We need 5 volunteers to help teardown the Young Coders lab on Saturday last afternoon.
  • We may also need last minute help with other miscellaneous setup and teardown.

Stuff Swag Bags

Volunteer: Just show up! Thursday April 9th, 3pm - 6pm (or until we're done)
  • Come stuff 10 bags! Many hands make light work!
  • Help in quick sprints with lots of other people. For the big event, look for us at the end of tutorials on Thursday. Our goal is 5 bags/minute (can you guess how many things go in each bag? - close to 1/4 million items to bag!). Are you agile - in a crowd? We'll need about 100 volunteers for this sprint.

Thanks!

2015-02-23

Signup for PyCon Dinners led by Jessica McKellar and Brandon Rhodes!

While the cost of PyCon includes breakfast and lunch as well as coffee and snacks, dinner is on your own, and for good reason. It's Montréal! Get out and enjoy the city, find some good food and drink, and hang out with new groups of people.

To make it even easier, this year we've organized another series of PyCon Dinners, one led by Jessica McKellar and one by Brandon Rhodes. These events are a great way to wrap up the first day of PyCon, taking place Friday April 10 at 6 PM, with a great three course meal with new and old friends. As 60% of attendees surveyed last year stated it was their first PyCon, these dinners are a great way to kick off the weekend and make new connections and setup plans for more dinners or other late night festivities.

Jessica is a director of the Python Software Foundation and has been instrumental in outreach efforts around the Python community, especially when it comes to PyCon. She's also a contributor to Twisted and has worked a lot with the OpenHatch project. She's a very experienced speaker with a ton of knowledge and information to share, and will make an excellent host for an excellent meal.

Brandon is a returning veteran of running a PyCon Dinner, having run last year's as a Python trivia game. He's also an experienced speaker of the Python conference circuit, and will be the chair of PyCons 2016 and 2017 when we head to Portland, Oregon after this year's work as co-chair.

Tickets are required for either dinner, with the meal price subsidized by the PSF for a cost of $45. Each prix fixe meal includes a delicious starter, main course, and dessert, with options available for dietary needs.

Check out the options on https://us.pycon.org/2015/events/dinners/ and sign up today? You can add a dinner ticket to your existing registration at https://us.pycon.org/2015/registration/.

If you don't have tickets to PyCon yet, hurry up because they are selling out very very soon.

2015-02-20

PyCon 2015 Education Summit - Talk Schedule

We are pleased to announce the speakers/talks for the 2015 Python Education Summit, held during PyCon on Thursday April 9th, 2015, is a gathering of teachers and educators focused on bringing coding literacy, through Python, to as broad a group of audiences as possible. We invite educators from all venues to consider joining the discussion, share insights, learn new techniques and tools and generally share their passion for education. We are looking for educators from many venues: authors; schools, colleges, universities; community-based workshops; online programs; and government.

Talk Schedule

Please take a look at the full list of talks. If you are interested in joining us please visit our registration page. We hope to see you there!
Note:  All Scheduled Speakers are eligible for 'Early Bird pricing' for attendance at PyCon. 

Two Rounds of Lightning Talks

In addition to the scheduled talks, we will have two rounds of Lightning Talks (morning and afternoon). We are taking early bird sign-ups for the morning round. Sign-ups for the afternoon round will be on-site.

If you are presenting; want to sign up for round one of the Lightning Talks; OR otherwise have questions, please contact Chalmer Lowe or Jessica Nickel